Sri Lanka Army Commander speaks to senior US military officers & meets senior state officials Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka during his recent visit to the US met a galaxy of US statesmen and military chiefs, including Ambassador Steven Mann, acting Assistant Secretary of State for South & Central Asian Affairs and Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, US Department of State.
On an invitation extended by US Chief of Army Staff General George W. Casey and the Government of USA, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka made history by talking to a large gathering of middle rung officers of the US Army on “Counter Terrorist Operations”. Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka was the first Commander of the Sri Lanka Army to have addressed such a symposium attended by the cream of the US Army while attending the USA Command and General Staff College (USACGSC).
During Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka’s stay, he also received the rare privilege of sharing views with Mr. James Clad, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South Asia, Major General Philip M. Breedlove (USAF), Vice Director Strategic Plans and Policy and Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV Commandant of the USACGSC. Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka visited the Department of State, the Pentagon and the USA Command and General Staff College (USACGSC), Fort Leavenworth and several other military establishments.
Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka delivering his near one-hour lecture and presentation to the senior US military officers on “Counter Terrorist Operations” touched on a wide variety of subjects such as Forms of Terrorism, Nature of Terrorism, Counter Terrorism, Challenges, etc.
Differentiating terrorism from insurgency, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka told the gathering that Magnitude of Terrorists’ military campaign, Level of Threat against Law and Order, Level of Military Counter attack, Political Motives and Involvement of Public Support are factors to be reckoned with before any counter-operations are planned against terrorism, keeping the civilian factor well in mind.
“Those with different political goals which cannot be achieved by democratic means can resort to terror by taking to arms, etc and resort to attacks, killings, destructions, intimidation, etc. Once they are organized strongly and heavily armed, they can even confront the Armed Forces/ Police, etc and indulged themselves in violence. Such terrorists can even take control over certain areas with less or no presence of government Armed Forces and terrorize the Government administrative machinery to ensure the government authority is non-existing or ineffective. Even internal terrorism need to extend its activities into International arena for the purpose of worldwide support.”